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Our ESG Vision

Our ESG Vision is underpinned by four key principles:


To develop and operate safe, secure and affordable student accommodation in a responsible way


To act in the long-term interests of our employees, our partners and their students, and our shareholders


To respect the environment and positively contribute to the communities within which we work


To provide thought leadership to the higher education sector


At UPP we recognise that our business activities inevitably have an impact on natural capital.

In response, we are preserving and enhancing our stock of renewable and non-renewable resources, designing out waste from our product cycle and minimising the risks associated with finite raw materials.

We are stimulating innovation and creating sustainable long-term growth and new employment opportunities.

Sustainable operation

Stakeholder Collaboration – We take informed decisions whilst being transparent and accountable to stakeholders and we co-create innovative approaches for generating commercial value, better relationships and increasing trust with wider society.

Supply chain and human rights – We are committed to high levels of transparency and expect the highest standards of responsible business practice across our supply chain.

Products and Services – Through our accommodation and services we are committed to delivering social and environmental value as well as creating economic growth.

Digital Transformation – We invest in digital transformation to drive smart forms of economic growth; reduce the impact we have on natural resources and lower our energy use.


Health and Wellbeing – We believe in the value of developing a healthier, happier and more engaged workforce to drive sustainable performance, productivity and improved resilience to benefit UPP, our employees and customers.

Education – We believe that every student, particularly those facing social disadvantage, should have the opportunity to reach their potential in education and lead a fulfilling working life. We advocate that businesses should work in partnership with education, to enable schools and wider education institutions to help children embed skills and make the transition into the jobs and society of the future.

Diversity and Inclusion – We believe that the career paths of our people – their prospects and progression – are independent of their personal characteristics, background and circumstances. We are actively building a diverse and inclusive workforce and realising the value of growing our own pipeline of talent.

Governance and leadership

Decision Making – We base our investment decisions on long-term commercial and environmental sustainability principles.

Future Generations – We are committed to developing the next generation of responsible future leaders.

Purpose and Values – We are intent on increasing our ability to be a genuine force for positive change – by creating competitive advantage, meeting changing customer needs and attracting and retaining great people.

Governance and transparency – We are actively seeking to increase trust in our business and enhance the belief of our stakeholders and partners that our business is a force for good.

Policy Engagement – Our belief is that societal problems are resolved more effectively through policy dialogue and multi-sector partnerships as they generate innovation, play to each partner’s strengths and enable scalability of solutions. UPP is a long-standing partner of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), the UK’s leading independent think tank devoted to higher education. UPP is also a supporter of The Higher Education Commission, an independent body made up of leaders from the education sector, the business community and the major political parties. The Commission examines higher education policy, holds evidence-based inquiries and produces written reports with recommendations for policymakers.

UK higher education sector

Students enrolled at UK institutions

Gross output of UK universities generated to the economy

UK Gross Domestic Product produced by universities

Export receipts earned by the UK HE sector

Jobs supported by the sector

More jobs requiring higher level skills by 2022

At UPP we have a long-term commitment to the UK higher education (HE) sector. We have a single sector focus, which means our interests are aligned with those of our partners and HE more widely.

We are proud to be part of a sector which makes an enormous economic contribution to the UK economy, and also delivers social and cultural benefits to wider society.

These include:

Transforming lives through education and the wider impact of research projects

Driving social mobility by widening participation, reducing disadvantage and facilitating a knowledge economy

Providing the skills and knowledge employers need from the workforce of the future

Undertaking research generating the ideas and inventions upon which future sustainable prosperity will be based

Creating businesses and jobs, ensuring that the UK remains competitive in a global market

Enriching society and stimulating culture

Securing the UK’s share of global growth and influence by providing international education and research

Universities are anchor institutions in their regions and drivers of innovation

Improving the health and wellbeing of people in the UK and around the world

Informing policy-making in areas such as education, health and the environment

Acting as the UK’s innovation hubs, supporting business and driving economic growth and productivity

Engaging and collaborating in national and international research to help address global challenges


UPP Foundation

Both in our public affairs work and through our support of the UPP Foundation – an independent grant-giving charity established by UPP in 2016 – we seek to help the higher education (HE) sector overcome a variety of issues it currently faces.

UPP typically donates 3% of the net cash it generates to the UPP Foundation, to help it support the HE sector – by helping to increase access and retention, improve student employability, enhance civic universities and develop global citizens.

The UPP Foundation issues grants to universities, charities and wider sector organisations and provides a public policy platform for sector leaders, experts and the public to debate the future of higher education.

It funded a series of projects on student mental health. These included the University Mental Health Charter, an initiative led by Student Minds – funded by the UPP Foundation and partners with the Department for Education, Office for Students, Universities UK, National Union of Students.

It also established the year-long Civic University Commission, Chaired by Lord Kerslake. The Commission’s final report recommended that universities develop civic university agreements, co-signed by local civic partners. Over 60 UK Vice-Chancellors have pledged to create a CUA.